A powerful Libyan east-based commander says he has suspended his role as leader of a self-styled Libyan army, delegating his duties to his chief of staff for the next three months. The move comes ahead of general elections scheduled on Dec. 24 and indicates the commander, Khalifa Hifter, may be contemplating a run for president. His candidacy would stir controversy in western Libya, the stronghold of his opponents based in the capital of Tripoli. Hifter’s forces had besieged Tripoli in a year-long campaign to capture the city. The campaign ultimately failed last year, leading to U.N.-mediated talks and the formation of an interim government.
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